Initiative seeks to bolster mHealth

The mHealth Alliance has launched a new initiative aimed at strengthening the mobile health capacity of governments, the private sector and NGOs by connecting them directly to free consultations and tools, as well as a network of highly qualified experts in the field. With support from Johnson + Johnson, the mHealth Expert Learning Program (mHELP) is seeking to address a "persistent gap" in the capacity of health programs and service implementers to design and deploy mHealth in low- and middle-income countries.

mHELP will have a particular focus on improving reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, and the diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS, with a variety of free services and tools to the mHealth community, such as an online question answering service and "how to" guides. "It will also engage in formal assessment and technical assistance projects, matching high-level experts, along with capacity building and technology partners, to the needs of specific mHealth implementations," states the announcement.

Towards that end, mHELP is working with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to establish a decision support and registration system in Tanzania for the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV. In addition, mHELP is assisting the South African Department of Health in building a national mHealth framework for maternal and child health. Announcement